Ollerenshaw, Kathleen

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Ollerenshaw, Kathleen Gender: F
Kathleen Mary Timpson
born on 1 October 1912 at 07:00 (= 07:00 AM )
Place Manchester, England, 53n30, 2w15
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 07°43' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 04°54 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 15°22'

Kathleen Ollerenshaw (at Manchester Astronomical Society in 2007)
photo: Sim0n, license gfdl


English mathematician, educator and researcher, politiican and world traveler, she became deaf in 1921 at age 8 from a viral infection. Her condition never interfered with her full life. She learned to lip read, studied mathematics intently, solving mathematcal puzzles and teaching herself more difficult problems than even her teachers could provide. She later wrote in her autobiography, "Mathematics is the one school subject not dependent on hearing." She graduated from Oxford where she played hockey and became the team's captain for her last two years at school. It wasn't until age 37 that she used a hearing aid for the first time.

She married Robert Ollerenshaw, a childhood friend in 1939 and their son was born in 1941. In the meantime, while her husband was away for military duty, she worked at a school and continued to play hockey for regional teams. Her enjoyment of skating led her to earn runner-up status in a figure skating contest in 1939. After earning her Ph.D. in mathematics from Oxford, she had another child, a daughter (born in 1946). While teaching she continued her mathematical research and in 1954 was appointed to the Manchester Education Committee where her taste for politics was whetted. In 1956 she was elected to the City Council and served in public office for the decades to come. In all her roles she stressed the importance of education and particularly in mathematics and has gone on to serve on the boards of five institutions of higher education. In 1970 she was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her service to education. She began traveling widely to serve as consultant and emissary for education in other countries. In 1983 she published a book she had co-written with Hermann Bondi on magic squares. She continued her research and work on magic squares and in 1998 her book "Most-Perfect Pandiagonal Magic Squares: Their Construction and Enumeration" was published. She was 86 years old.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Health : Medical diagnosis 1921 (Viral infection caused deafness)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1939 (Robert Ollerenshaw)
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1941 (Birth of son)
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1946 (Birth of her daughter)
  • Work : Prize 1970 (Dame Commander)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1998 (Book on magic squares)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 2004 (Autobiography)

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes data from Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw's book, 'To Talk Of Many Things: An Autobiography' (Manchester UP, 2004), p. 2: '[In Manchester] ... I was born in the same front bedroom four years later on 1 October 1912 at 7 o'clock in the morning.'


  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Ears
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two)
  • Vocation : Education : Researcher
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher
  • Vocation : Science : Mathematics/ Statistics
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction
  • Notable : Awards : Knighted